Is Battery A Felony?

Is Battery A Felony?

Criminal Defense Attorney in Illinois

Is Battery A Felony?

In Illinois, battery is considered a misdemeanor, but it can be updated to a felony charge or aggravated assault if certain conditions are met. To fully understand them, first, you need to understand what the term means according to the law.

What is Battery?

Under criminal code 720 ILCS 5/12-3, a person commits battery if he or she insults or provokes physical contact to another. This can be anything from pushing or hitting and injuring another person intentionally without legal justification.

You can even be charged with battery if you rip someone’s shirt in anger. That will be considered as ‘touching’ since clothes are considered to be an extension of said person. If the injuries resulted in disfigurement or disability, you may be charged with aggravated domestic battery. For example, if say you pushed a pregnant woman and caused lasting injuries to the unborn fetus, you can be charged with a felony. 

How Battery in Illinois Can Be Upgraded To a Felony

As per Chapter 720, this charge is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. As mentioned before, it can be upgraded to a felony i.e. aggravated assault if these conditions are met:

  • You intended to cause bodily harm when you made contact with the other person.
  • You used a deadly weapon while committing battery.
  • You committed the act against specific classes of individuals knowingly. This includes firefighters, peace officers, medical personnel rendering aid, drivers of vehicles for hire, employees of the state, pregnant women, and senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older.
  • You have a prior conviction for the same crime or for violating a protective order. 

If you are charged with just a simple battery charge, you may have to pay $2,500 in fines, serve a year in prison, and remain on probation for two years. You may even have to pay restitution to the victim. If the charge is upgraded to a felony, you will have a criminal record which will have a negative effect on your employment, relationships, housing options, and education.

If you are in search of a criminal defense attorney in Illinois who can help you overcome this challenge and other legal issues, get in touch with Michael D. Ettinger & Associates in Palos Heights today! Thanks to our firm’s excellent success record, we get cases that are related to a range of criminal and civil matters so we know exactly how we can help you. Get in touch with us for an in-depth consultation today!